Most affordable college football towns

The home of Ball State University holds the No. 1 spot for home prices according to a new study from Coldwell Banker.

By Keisha Lamothe, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Muncie, Indiana, ranks as the most affordable big football town for housing in the United States, according to an annual survey released Tuesday by Coldwell Banker.

Home prices in Muncie, home to the Ball State University Cardinals, average $150,000 for a 2,200-square-foot single-family house with four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, family room and two-car garage.

The Coldwell Banker College Home Price Comparison Index looks at the hometowns of 119 Division 1-A college football programs to see how much the same type of house costs in each market of a middle-management type neighborhood.

"College towns remain a popular living destination - whether they are first time homeowners or alumni looking for great retirement spots," Jim Gillespie, Coldwell Banker's chief executive, said in a release.

"School spirit draws many alumni back to their alma mater and for others, continuing their education, pursuing jobs, enjoying cultural activities and following college sports make these communities ideal homes," he said.

Palo Alto, Calif., home to the Stanford Cardinals, led the pack as the most expensive college town for the third straight year. A similar home there averaged $1.67 million.

Coincidentally, Muncie and Palo Alto have both recently upgraded their football stadiums. Ball State renovated its Scheumann Stadium while the one-year-old Stanford Stadium seats 50,000.

The Mid-American conference, which includes Ball State, ranks as the index's most affordable league with an average home price of $230,272. Its schools also include The University of Toledo in Ohio, Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and the University of Buffalo in New York - all in former industrial centers whose housing markets have struggled.

Not surprisingly, the most expensive conference is the Pac-10, with its high concentration of California schools. Homes in Pac-10 towns average $737,040 with University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles and University of Southern California (also in Los Angeles) joining Stanford in the seven-figure average house category.

Three teams in the top 25 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings hail from towns in Coldwell Banker's top 10 most expensive college markets list: Boston College, University of Southern California and University of Hawaii.

With a record of 10-0, Ohio State may be the nation's No. 1 team in the Bowl Championship series standings, but its average home price of $238,170 ranks it at 51 on Coldwell Banker's index. Top of page

Most affordable college football towns
Here's the best bargains for big-time college sports and affordable housing.
School Town Avg. price
Ball State Muncie, IN $150,000
TCU Fort Worth, TX $151,250
Tulsa Tulsa, OK $153,750
Oklahoma State Stillwater, OK $162,000
Texas Tech Lubbock, TX $163,250
Toledo Toledo, OH $163,278
Louisiana-Monroe Monroe, LA $164,499
Houston Houston, TX $169,736
Rice Houston, TX $169,736
Utah State Logan, UT $172,978
Source: Coldwell Banker
Most expensive college football towns
Here's where you'll pay the most to live in a big-time college sports town.
School Town Avg. price
Stanford Palo Alto, CA $1,677,000
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA $1,381,250
USC Los Angeles, CA $1,306,333
UCLA Los Angeles, CA $1,306,333
UC, Berkeley Berkeley, CA $1,287,500
San Jose State San Jose, CA $1,145,000
Hawaii Honolulu, HI $843,750
Northwestern Evanston, IL $708,000
Florida International Miami, FL $638,333
Miami Miami, FL $638,333